From the softball field to the administrator’s office, Monica Gordy Polizzi has been a force in NCAA athletics for more than 20 years.
Now, she will bring those decades of experience to Salisbury University as the institution’s new director of athletics and campus recreation – the first woman to hold the position – following a national search. She began the position on Wednesday, July 26.
Polizzi comes to SU from Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C., where she served as senior associate athletic director of internal operations since February 2022. Prior to that, she spent 11 years at Mars Hill University (N.C.), including eight as head softball coach and three as assistant director of athletics.
At Lenoir-Rhyne, Polizzi oversaw six intercollegiate sports, served as chief financial officer for a multi-million-dollar athletics budget and assisted in all head coaches and athletics staff hires, among other duties.
From 2008-2011, Polizzi served as head softball coach at Louisburg College (N.C.), following assistant and graduate assistant coaching positions at Upper Iowa University and Wayne State College (Neb.).
She currently chairs the NCAA National Committee for Division II football – the first woman to hold that position, as well – and serves on the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee for the sport. She is a past member of the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee for Division II softball and has served on multiple committees for the SAC.
Professionally, Polizzi was one of only 24 women from all NCAA divisions selected to participate in the NCAA’s 2020 Lessons in Management workshop. She also was selected as one of eight mentees to participate in the 2022 Division II Athletic Directors Association Women and Minorities Mentorship program, offered through the Division II Athletic Directors Association and NCAA, and has served as a delegate at multiple NCAA conventions.
In addition, she previously has been selected to attend the Women Leaders in College Sports national convention and will attend its executive institute for senior administrators in all NCAA divisions this summer. On the field, she was a four-year softball starter and team captain at the Florida Institute of Technology, where she earned her B.A. in psychology.
A 2000 graduate of Parkside High School in Salisbury, she helped lead the Rams’ softball team to four post-season appearances, including the Maryland state finals.
At SU, Polizzi will oversee 23 varsity athletics teams. These include men’s and women’s golf, scheduled to begin competition during the 2024-25 academic year as the first additions to SU’s athletics program since women’s soccer in 1994.
Additionally, Polizzi will oversee SU’s athletics and recreation facilities, as well as the university’s student recreation program, including intramural teams and 13 club sports.
Polizzi holds an M.S. in recreation and sport science from Ohio University.